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A type of Bioremediation Involves using mycelium – To filter runoff water from farms, waste dumps, junkyard sites – To degrade toxic chemicals and destroy.

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Presentation on theme: "A type of Bioremediation Involves using mycelium – To filter runoff water from farms, waste dumps, junkyard sites – To degrade toxic chemicals and destroy."— Presentation transcript:

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2 A type of Bioremediation Involves using mycelium – To filter runoff water from farms, waste dumps, junkyard sites – To degrade toxic chemicals and destroy bacteria and viruses in contaminated soil – To break down garbage at dumps Paper and cardboard Diapers Old fuel, solvents, motor oil, paint

3 Contaminates beaches, river deltas – Oil floats on surface of water and is pushed onto beachfronts and into nearby coastal swamps and waterways Oil spills can happen on land when pipelines are damaged or oil wells leak Cleanup is costly and can take years – A ‘soup’ of petrochemicals renders soil useless – Toxins can continue to poison wildlife and leech into water

4 Companies that produce petrochemical-based products have to deal with industrial waste It is usually put into barrels and shipped off-site and either buried deep in the ground and encased in concrete or stored above ground until it can be incinerated Either method of storage has significant risks that the waste will leech into ground water Incinerating causes pollutants to be released into the atmosphere

5 Millions of tons of paper and cardboard enter landfills yearly More than 20 billion dirty diapers a year enter landfills, enough to cover a football field three miles deep Various solvents, paints, fuels, etc. also end up in dumps due to improper disposal Landfill size is increasing

6 Runoff water from industrial animal farms contains urine, feces and blood, often from sick and/or dead animals. It is often stored in huge open-air waste lagoons, or manure pits. Harmful bacteria and viruses contaminate rural wells, rivers, lakes and streams More than 40 diseases can be transferred to humans through manure Also contains high amounts of nitrates, which can kill infants and people with heart conditions Antibiotics added to feed (almost 30 million pounds a year) can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria Toxic gasses around manure pits have asphyxiated people who got too close

7 Fungi play a major role in the Earth’s environment. Unique enzymes allow some fungi to digest lignocellulose, giving them a major role in the Earth’s carbon cycle Certain enzymes also allow some fungi to break down complex hydrocarbon chains found in petrochemical pollutants Once broken down, the nutrients once locked up in cellulose become available for use by plants Many toxic substances are broken down into less harmful or non- toxic forms

8 Fungi that grow on wood are very effective at degrading aromatic pollutants, herbicides and pesticides—fast! Breaks down heavy weight hydrocarbon chains into lighter weight molecules Will break down lighter hydrocarbons completely Works with other microbial communities in the soil to degrade contaminants into CO 2 and water Oyster mushrooms can be “trained” to degrade PCB’s, TNT, DDT and other toxins Were used in a project carried out by the Washington State Transportation Commission to clean diesel-contaminated soil from truck bays Colony began mass monthly fruiting at week 4 Supported vascular plants at week 9 Declared clean enough to use on highway berms as fill soil by week 17 Oyster mushroom mycelium “eating” motor oil

9 Breaks down the strong beta-glycoside bonds of cellulose. The majority of landfill space is occupied by cellulose based waste. 90% of cellulose-based products metabolized within 2 months Metabolized completely in 4 months Mushrooms are edible

10 Mycelium is composed of a tight network of hyphae, thin threads that absorb liquid flowing through them Up to 8 miles of hyphae in one cubic inch of soil, some only one cell thick Amount of toxins that can be removed is directly related to the size of the fungal colony Can be used at fuel stations, farms, dump sites to filter runoff Very cheap, simple and easy to implement-dig a hole, mix spawn with soil, backfill hole with mixture Highly efficient and results in much cleaner runoff within months

11 Fungi have evolved to become the ultimate bio-degrader. Have developed enzymes that break down cellulose – Few organisms can do this as the molecules are strongly bound Have developed enzymes to break down aromatic compounds found in wood – This property extends to toxic aromatic compounds found in crude oil, petroleum products and byproducts Can absorb and destroy bacteria and viruses, filtering them out of water that passes through the fungal colony Can do all these things very quickly, a matter of months in most cases

12 Fungi are being investigated for use in a variety of applications Replacement for Styrofoam blocks in packaging – Waste from grain processing pressed into a mold and inoculated with mushroom culture – Fully colonized grain then dried under heat – Shroom packaging fully biodegradable Oyster mushrooms can be “trained” to degrade specific substances – DDT, PCB’s, TNT – Under investigation for a variety of other toxins One species of oyster mushroom has been developed that can destroy termite colonies

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